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HULK #36

Electricity is a wonderful man made power-source, isn’t it? Well – come on – without it, how would civilisation survive? There would be no light – no television – no communication – and no malicious monsters to plague the hero of this tale. What? You don’t know? Then you best read this issue, Written by Jeff Parker; Drawn by Patch Zircher; and Published by Marvel Comics in August 2011.  

Red (Thunderbolt Ross) Hulk, and his computerised cohort, Annie, go to Iowa, to investigate a strange disturbance within this local. And what does he find? Two things from his past. Firstly, an electrified monster called Zzzax, an entity that he utilised some time ago, with his battles against Hulk (Bruce Banner). And secondly, MODOK. Well? Kind of MODOK, whom he once allied himself with some time ago, with his battles agai-i-i... ahh... you know what I am going to say.   

So is this chance encounter a happy one for the Rulk or not? Nope – not really. As Zzzax tries to beat the cr*p out of him, whilst MODOK tries to proposition him with an alliance. Results? Err? Somewhat bi-polar I am afraid to say – as the Rulk gages his past experiences’ with these two baddies, and manages to fend them off – only for them to be able to fight again another day.


OK, so what was this issue all about then? Was it a way of introducing MODOK back into the Hulk titles once more? Was it a way to showcase how much Ross has evolved as a character? Or was it an excuse to use the phrase ‘Zzzax’ in a legible manner? Hmm? Not really sure actually – but I hazard a guess that it’s a combination of all three scenarios myself.

However, does any of this make this particular issue of the Hulk, a good read or a bad read? Truthfully?  Somewhere in between. As on the one hand, it does have a nice plodding charm to this brief tale – managing to tell a structured story using a slight novelistic technique, whilst at the same time conveying some action too. Where as on the other hand – the negative hand – what was the point to it? OK, I know that this does sound a tad too harsh, (a tad?) but I just found that this particular issue has no grounding within this title at the moment. It’s as if someone said to the writer – Jeff Parker – “OI! JEFF? Write something about MODOK will you? And while you are at it, add something about that electricity monster which Ross used some time ago, huh!”.

Fair enough, maybe this did not go down exactly like that. But the general impression was that this tale did feel like a ‘hollow segment’ as a whole, and only acted as an introduction of a villain that we know is still around, as well as a way to say ‘Ross is a nice guy, right kids!’. Still, saying all of that, this was a nice issue to read, and was written very clearly and boldly by Parker, and drawn very boldly and clearly by Zircher. Nice read – but mealy a stepping stone to something else me thinks.


HULK #36 HULK #36 Reviewed by David Andrews on July 20, 2011 Rating: 5
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